Portraits in Charcoal

George Gissing's Women

by James Haydock



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 7/20/2004

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 316
ISBN : 9781418450748

About the Book

Half biography and half critical study, this book about George Gissing is for the general reader. It draws a parallel between the women in Gissing’s life and the women in his novels. His books span the last two decades of the nineteenth century and are memorable for their portraits of women. Only a few women played active roles in Gissing’s life, but all exerted a lasting influence. Their imprint allowed him to portray women vividly and with unerring realism, though at times in variable tones of gray...in charcoal. Gissing’s feminine portraiture, rendered in shades of somber experience, is one of the most striking features of his work and one of the most valuable for the reader of today. It derived from his intense and abiding interest in the women of his time and the way they lived their lives. His portraits of women, warm and human, were shaped in all their detail by an essential sympathy that made them neither topical nor contemporary but timeless. Some of the women in his life became models for fictional women as alive today as when he first created them.

About the Author

James Haydock received his bachelor's and doctoral degrees from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and the master's degree from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He did graduate work also at the University of California at Los Angeles and postgraduate work at Yale University. After that he taught on the college level and wrote. A friend persuaded him to share what he knows about George Gissing’s life and work. The result is the present book.